The forums functionality allows each blog to have their very own forums – embedded in any page or post.
Activating The Forums Plugin
Edublogs Pro users can go to Plugins > All and scroll down to the Forums plugin to activate it. Click the Activate link to activate the plugin.
Once the Forums plugin is activated you will see Forums added as a menu item on your dashboard menu.
Creating a New Forum
To create a new Forum, go to Forums > New Forum. You can see this in the screenshot above.
The editor you use to create the forum will be very similar to the editor you use to write blog posts or pages. You will want to enter a title for your forum, and most users like to add a description as well.
Once your forum is published, you will see your new forum listed in Forums > All Forums along with its shortcode.
To add the forum to your site, you will create a new post (Posts > Add New) or a new page (Pages > Add New) and paste the shortcode there.
Once the page is published, you will see your forum on your new page. Your forum will show any topics that have been added to it.
When creating your forum, you will see an area to set up your new forum’s attributes on the right side of the page. Here is a quick list of the attributes and how they work:
Type: Forum vs Category
A Category contains forums, and a Forum contains topics. (We’ll discuss adding topics in the next section.)
So, as an example, you can create the category “English Literature” and then add the forums “Shakespeare” and “Chaucer” to that category. You can then add the topics “Tragedies” and “Comedies” to the Shakespeare forum.
Status: Open vs Closed
An open forum is active and can have new topics and replies added. A closed forum is still visible on your site, but no new replies can be added to the discussion.
- Public: Anyone visiting your site can see these forums.
- Private: Only logged in registered users of your site can see these forums
- Hidden: Only Moderators/Admins of your site can see these forums.
Adding Topics To Forums
Once you have created a forum, you can add topics for discussion.
First go to Topics > New Topic to add a new topic.
Adding a new topic is quite similar to adding a blog post. You will want to enter a title and content. You will then want to choose a topic Type and assign it to a Forum.
Type: Normal/Sticky/Super Sticky
A normal topic will be assigned to the whatever forum you choose and will be bumped down as new topics are added.
A sticky topic will remain at the top of its assigned forum even as new topics are added.
A super sticky topic will be placed at the top of all forums and will stick there even as new topics are added.
When you create a topic, you will want to assign it to a forum. In the Forum drop down, you will see a list of all your existing forums to choose from.
Adding tags to your topic is also an option. If you assign tags to your topic, these will appear on the topic page. Users can click a tag to see any other topics that share the same tag.
As an administrator, you can manage all aspects of your forum.
- Edit anyone user’s topics or replies
- Trash any user’s topics or replies.
- Delete any forum topic – permanently deletes that forum topic and all replies.
- Close any forum topic – stops everyone from being able to post in that forum thread but they are still able to view posts.
- Open any closed forum topic – used to open up a forum thread if you want to re-enable ability to post under that forum thread.
- Merge topics.
You can make these changes through the dashboard menu, or right on a topic page. In the dashboard you would go to Forums, Topics or Replies to manage the items in those sections. Otherwise, you can use the links on the live page to manage indivdual topics or replies.
If you want to edit the settings for the forums on your blog, go to Settings > Forums.
Note that by default, your forums are set up to only allow logged in users of your site to add topics or replies. We recommend this setting for the security of your class.
You would need to add users by going to Users > Add New before they can participate in the forums. Students users added via the My Class tool will also be able to participate in the forums.
Otherwise, you can turn on the Anonymous Posting setting in Settings > Forums to allow guest users without accounts to create topics and replies.